If you’ve ever met me, you know I’m not shy about my skin. I’m open about my struggles with itching, red flare-ups, and what I call my summer skin: When my chest and shoulders swell with tiny red bumps from the sun and sweat. I’m an open book about having a less than stellar experience in my own flesh. I’ve done it my whole life.
Despite my extensive experience with skin suffering, even I spend hours googling things like “best eczema cream 2021” and “please help me, I am *so* itchy” until I can crawl my way out of the topical skin care rabbit hole I dug for myself. One night while I was in my Google stupor, I saw a product on a The Strategist list that caught my eye: Bodewell’s Anti-Itch Cream. The author echoed my exact sentiments — “sometimes I want to scratch myself until I bleed, with this, I don’t.” I was hooked instantly.
Bodewell was founded by a lifelong eczema sufferer, Jamie Duff, and developed under the guide of devoted skin researchers like Dr. Tiffany Mayo, Director of Dermatology Clinical Research at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and Dr. Smita Aggarwal, Board Certified Dermatologist and Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology. Bodewell’s approach is simple — skincare for the rest of us. By that they mean, people who are looking for so much more than glowy skin or moisturizing. “68% of people live with sensitive skin,” the company notes in their About Us section “We know how hard it is to live with inflamed skin conditions while struggling to find effective and safe non-Rx solutions. With all the incredible clinical advancements of our era, the market just isn’t good enough. We want to change the current dynamic, and we started Bodewell to do just that.”
At first, Bodewell felt too good to be true, mostly because it felt like someone thought of me. I wasn’t looking for a miracle or an end-all-be-all product. I wanted to avoid going back to steroids and the crushing disappointment or — honestly, devastation — of discovering steroid creams just flat out stopped working. That day is comparable to the most knockdown dragout breakups I’ve gone through. Not only does it suck to know that I’m back at square one, but there’s something so insidious about bodily chemistry that makes me feel like it’s somehow my fault.
I just wanted everyday remedies, something that didn’t feel so clinical it reminded me that I’m constantly experimenting with my body to see if something sticks. And looking at Bodewell’s thoughtful social media and scientifically-supported mission, I couldn’t believe it, but I needed to. So I ordered.
My first box, with my own hand-picked regimen, consisted of Bodewell’s Shampoo, Light Serum, and my holy grail, their Anti-Itch Cream. Not only is the packaging super cute (who knew I could feel chic while dealing with my lizard skin armpit rashes) but it’s also no-nonsense. The ingredients are clearly labeled, the function is ergonomic and sanitary (no sticking my fingers into a jar!), and the purpose is clear: There are no rules with your regimen, aside from consistency. Try new things. See what helps most. Do that.
Starting out with the Anti-Itch Cream twice a day on my flare-ups, the Shampoo once a week in the shower, and the Light Serum twice a day on the rough dry patches I get on my face and scalp has become my solace. Taking a few minutes everyday to confront my skin and watch it heal and change has become my church — now I take the time to practice this very real self-care instead of putting on long sleeves no matter the weather and practically performing magic tricks to avoid anyone seeing me. The path to reducing flare-ups, like all healing, isn’t linear — but the strength to keep going is a gift that I’ve tapped into and fully embraced after finding Bodewell.
Although Bodwell’s range spans beyond those three products, the Anti-Itch Cream especially has become more than a staple for me, it’s my medicine. I’m excited to have it in my arsenal moving into the summer months when generally, my skin flares up most. More exciting than having products though, is having a community of people who get it. I just feel lucky that I’ve found both in one place.
Learn more about Bodewell here.